Andrew Gillum concedes Florida governor's race to Ron DeSantis

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Florida, conceded to his Republican opponent, forme...

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 2:48 AM
Updated: Nov 19, 2018 2:48 AM

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Florida, conceded to his Republican opponent, former Rep. Ron DeSantis, on Saturday, ending a protracted fight that saw the Tallahassee mayor take back his Election Day concession during a statewide recount.

The concession ended Gillum's first bid for statewide office in Florida, but the run -- despite his loss -- vaulted the 39-year old politician into the upper echelons of Democratic politics.

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"R. Jai and I wanted to take a moment to congratulate Mr. DeSantis on becoming the next governor of the great state of Florida," Gillum said in a Facebook video in which he appeared alongside his wife. "This has been the journey of our lives."

DeSantis responded to Gillum's concession with a call for unity.

"This was a hard-fought campaign," he wrote on Twitter. "Now it's time to bring Florida together."

The reality, however, is that the race between DeSantis and Gillum was anything but unifying. The contest was a heated affair that largely reflected the broader national tensions over race and class in the Trump era.

Those issues, which were already bubbling up throughout the primary, were escalated by DeSantis when he went on Fox News a day after the primary to warn Florida voters not to "monkey this up" by electing Gillum. DeSantis denied there was any racial innuendo in his remark, but race -- and allegations that DeSantis was using it against his opponent -- were never far off during the 10-week general election sprint.

They hit a boiling point during the pair's second and final debate. DeSantis loudly objected to suggestions he was in cahoots with far-right figures or that his ties -- unwitting, he said -- to white supremacists should be held against him.

"Now, I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist," Gillum said in response. "I'm simply saying the racists believe he's a racist."

If that line earned Gillum viral praise and national recognition, his indirect connections to an FBI investigation into public corruption in Tallahassee was a drag on his campaign, which at times struggled to explain Gillum's relationship with a former lobbyist and friend and his run-ins with an undercover federal agent. Gillum maintained throughout the campaign that the FBI told him he was not a target of the probe, which could continue to dog him in the coming months or years.

DeSantis has largely flown under the radar since Election Day. The conservative lawmaker began to put together a gubernatorial transition shortly after Election Day despite the ongoing recount.

Gillum, after conceding the race on Election Night, took back his concession as late-counted ballots brought the race within just over 33,000 votes.

"I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote," he said, after Florida election officials ordered a recount in three statewide contests.

Gillum's race all but ended on Thursday, however, when the machine portion of the recount ended and DeSantis lost only one vote on the Tallahassee mayor. Because Gillum's race did not fall within the .25% standard that automatically triggers a manual recount, there was nowhere near the number of votes need for Gillum to close the gap.

The state's Senate race, between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott, and Florida's race for agriculture commissioner did fall within that margin and are currently in the midst of a hand recount.

Gillum's fight during the recount, however, became bigger than just winning the race. He and other Democrats repeatedly said they were sticking with the campaign until all legally cast votes were counted. Lawyers for Democratic interests, including Nelson's campaign, looked to expand the number of available votes in federal court by overturning a series of Florida election laws, but those efforts largely failed.

Gillum or his campaign were not party to any of those suits, but he could have stood to benefit from them.

Gillum acknowledged this fight in his concession video.

"This was not just about an election cycle, this was about creating the kind of change in this state that really allows for the voices of everyday people to show up against in our government," Gillum said. "We know that this fight continues."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 331863

Reported Deaths: 7494
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22855279
Hinds22625437
Harrison19462326
Rankin14765286
Jackson14233251
Madison10658227
Lee10398178
Jones8713169
Forrest8164157
Lauderdale7528243
Lowndes6761150
Lamar665988
Lafayette6446124
Washington5497139
Bolivar4907134
Pearl River4889149
Oktibbeha476898
Panola4719112
Marshall4648106
Warren4612125
Pontotoc438873
Monroe4243137
Union424379
Neshoba4179180
Lincoln4088115
Hancock402788
Leflore3562125
Pike3511111
Tate348988
Alcorn343174
Sunflower342293
Adams331987
Yazoo330573
Scott330175
Simpson313690
Copiah311467
Itawamba309580
Coahoma308285
Tippah298368
Prentiss292563
Covington280183
Marion278980
Leake277975
Wayne269942
Grenada265688
George259851
Newton256064
Tishomingo235769
Winston235084
Jasper225748
Attala220373
Chickasaw215960
Stone209137
Holmes194974
Clay191554
Tallahatchie181542
Clarke181480
Calhoun177332
Smith175334
Yalobusha169240
Walthall140448
Lawrence137026
Greene134934
Amite131843
Noxubee131135
Perry130838
Montgomery130644
Carroll124531
Webster116732
Jefferson Davis112934
Tunica110827
Benton104425
Claiborne104231
Kemper100329
Humphreys99033
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw80919
Wilkinson73232
Jefferson69028
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 565510

Reported Deaths: 11468
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson828061584
Mobile44938853
Madison36534532
Tuscaloosa26589465
Shelby26409255
Montgomery25598623
Baldwin23319324
Lee16691179
Calhoun15030332
Morgan14877288
Etowah14563368
Marshall12723235
Houston11302292
Elmore10576217
St. Clair10449251
Limestone10420158
Cullman10198204
Lauderdale9883253
DeKalb9226191
Talladega8705187
Walker7545286
Autauga7388113
Jackson7216117
Blount7147139
Colbert6522142
Coffee5962131
Dale5224117
Russell463942
Chilton4603117
Covington4502125
Franklin439781
Tallapoosa4343156
Escambia414782
Chambers3813124
Dallas3674163
Clarke361562
Marion3354106
Pike323179
Lawrence3176101
Winston289672
Bibb276165
Geneva267383
Marengo257367
Barbour241860
Pickens238862
Butler233571
Hale230578
Fayette223863
Henry203345
Cherokee192347
Randolph192244
Monroe190241
Washington174539
Macon167252
Crenshaw163457
Clay161859
Cleburne158445
Lamar149138
Lowndes143854
Wilcox128431
Bullock125342
Conecuh117730
Coosa115229
Perry109628
Sumter107532
Greene95935
Choctaw63125
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